Wall Wart Management

Discussions about anything analog, digital, MIDI, synth technology, techniques, theories and more.
andyjingram
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 14
Joined: Thu Dec 10, 2009 2:03 am

Wall Wart Management

Post by andyjingram » Sat Nov 06, 2010 12:20 pm

For all the neatness that a rack based system brings to a small studio, I'm gaining quite a tangle of wall wart power supplies round the back of the mounting unit I built. It's starting to look like a Mangrove back there, minus the mudskippers.

Does anyone have any handy tips for keeping the blasted things in check?

Also, has anyone ever bothered with a farady cage to keep the collective interferance contained? This would be most effective for keeping electric guitars and basses a bit quiter, but every little helps when it comes to buzzes and hums.

Cheers, Andy

User avatar
Hybrid88
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 2251
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 8:26 am
Gear: V-Synth, and other stuff...
Location: Australia

Re: Wall Wart Management

Post by Hybrid88 » Sat Nov 06, 2010 1:40 pm

I have three words, Rack Mounted Powerboard. Get one with as many outlets as you can, or buy more than one if you have a lot of rack gear. Mount it on the back rail if you rack has one.

That and either cable ties or preferably velcro ties will solve the problem.

...and just so you know a faraday cage is for high voltage, ie. it works by diverting the electricity around the cage thus protecting whatever is inside from the electricity. So, it's not going to do anything for this application. What you need to do is keep your power leads as far away as possible from your audio leads, and if they must cross, put them at 90º from each other this should cut down the problem - there are other ways to deal with it if the hum is still a issue.


Cheers ;)

User avatar
Zamise
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 2353
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2004 2:41 am
Gear: Rollhand P00
Band: Quantum-Source
Location: DenverMetroUSA, Quantum-Source.com
Contact:

Re: Wall Wart Management

Post by Zamise » Sat Nov 06, 2010 2:33 pm

I think your only half right there H88, they supposedly are used to keep out other interfering type signals too, however I don't see a point to having one in the house or studio. Gene Hackman had one in Enemy of the State, and he still had to blow his hideout.

Wallwarts have obvious solutions too, get an extension cord for each one if you can't figure that out ;)
<ZQS> [....<OII>.....soundcloud player v2.42.....................link]

andyjingram
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 14
Joined: Thu Dec 10, 2009 2:03 am

Re: Wall Wart Management

Post by andyjingram » Sat Nov 06, 2010 3:29 pm

Well, it sounds like the farady box was a bit of a mis-fire, thoughts wise!

I have a bunch of cable ties and and a shelf under the unit which will hold the power supplies (it started life as a TV stand!), but I was hoping there might be some bit of lateral thinking I had missed. Sometimes works out that way.

H88, I presume that the rack power strip is just a rack mountable extension lead- or is there more to it than that?

User avatar
Hybrid88
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 2251
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 8:26 am
Gear: V-Synth, and other stuff...
Location: Australia

Re: Wall Wart Management

Post by Hybrid88 » Sat Nov 06, 2010 3:40 pm

Looks like this, handy things to have as it means you only have to have one power lead coming out the back of your rack and not the aforementioned mangrove swamp ;)

Image

User avatar
Sir Nose
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 785
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2008 3:54 pm
Real name: Bob
Gear: Machinedrum, Octatrack, Moog LP, x0xb0x, Elka Solist 505, Simmons SDS-400
Location: PA

Re: Wall Wart Management

Post by Sir Nose » Sat Nov 06, 2010 3:41 pm

A faraday cage will help any help for any EM waves that may cause interference inward or outward, but will have no effect on line interference. You could cage an device (effect or wallwart) that is picking up radio interference directly, but if the power line is picking up the inteference and feeding to the device a cage will do nada.
Funkadelic wrote: nothing is good unless you play with it
all that is good is nasty

User avatar
nuketifromorbit
Expert Member
Expert Member
Posts: 1346
Joined: Mon Mar 20, 2006 4:07 am

Re: Wall Wart Management

Post by nuketifromorbit » Sat Nov 06, 2010 4:41 pm

I tried running all my the cables from my line warts through vinyl tubing, the kind you can buy at any hardware store, in order to tidy things up. Sadly this ended up being too much of a pain in the a*s due to my habit of doing total rearrangements every four or five months.
We'll always be remembered, we'll always be dismembered.

Ashe37
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 3906
Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:43 pm
Real name: Unpronounceable
Gear: Ensoniq SD-1/32,SQR,VFX,ESQm
Virus Indigo, M3-61 , MS2000BR, Volca Bass
Emu XL-7, Matrix 6r
TG-33, K3m, Blofeld, Micron, Mopho, BS II, JV-1080
Band: Eridani V
Location: Central VA

Re: Wall Wart Management

Post by Ashe37 » Sat Nov 06, 2010 8:22 pm

Hybrid88 wrote:Looks like this, handy things to have as it means you only have to have one power lead coming out the back of your rack and not the aforementioned mangrove swamp ;)

Image

With the arrangements of most wall warts you're only going to be able to use half those outlets.

User avatar
madtheory
Supporting Member!
Supporting Member!
Posts: 5361
Joined: Mon May 01, 2006 12:45 pm
Real name: Tomas Mulcahy
Gear: Wurlitzer Opus 1536, Model F, Morovdis Arpeggiator, Maplin My First EQ, Jeff Wayne Thunderchild rack, Thermostat, Buck Owens' Moog.
Location: Cork, Ireland
Contact:

Re: Wall Wart Management

Post by madtheory » Sat Nov 06, 2010 8:40 pm

A Faraday cage will contain the EM field from the transformers in the wall warts. But it's unlikely that is the major source of noise on the audio lines. With a lot of cabling you probably have a ground loop.

To tidy up the PSUs, something like this would do (sorry, I can't find a US equivalent):


Image

http://www.canford.co.uk/Products/20206 ... MULTIPOWER
Zamise wrote:Gene Hackman had one in Enemy of the State, and he still had to blow his hideout.
Careful there, I've never seen a Hollywood movie that was scientifically accurate...

User avatar
guillermotin
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 86
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2009 4:37 am
Location: Somewhere in the outer ring...

Re: Wall Wart Management

Post by guillermotin » Sat Nov 06, 2010 9:47 pm

madtheory wrote:A Faraday cage will contain the EM field from the transformers in the wall warts. But it's unlikely that is the major source of noise on the audio lines. With a lot of cabling you probably have a ground loop.

To tidy up the PSUs, something like this would do (sorry, I can't find a US equivalent):


Image

http://www.canford.co.uk/Products/20206 ... MULTIPOWER
Zamise wrote:Gene Hackman had one in Enemy of the State, and he still had to blow his hideout.
Careful there, I've never seen a Hollywood movie that was scientifically accurate...


That's one brilliant solution.
I want one!!!

But mine would have to be custom-made, since I need a few 12v AC cords on some racks...

andyjingram
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 14
Joined: Thu Dec 10, 2009 2:03 am

Re: Wall Wart Management

Post by andyjingram » Sat Nov 06, 2010 10:54 pm

Off Topic
With the arrangements of most wall warts you're only going to be able to use half those outlets.
Well, with the arrangement of the power sockets here, I ain't going to be able to use any of 'em! But I just visualised the same thing with UK sockets... :D
Off Topic
To tidy up the PSUs, something like this would do (sorry, I can't find a US equivalent):
Not a problem, my friend- see above! Now that is a solution I can dig. I will get researching that one, although, in fact I have a multi power supply for effects pedals which might just do the job. I wonder if it would even negate the need for the US-UK power converter I have to use for my audio interface???

User avatar
loungedumore
Active Member
Active Member
Posts: 638
Joined: Tue Jan 23, 2007 10:25 am
Gear: iMac | iPad 2| iPad Air
Beatstep Pro | Mpx8
Volca bass, Keys ,beats
Monotribe | MS20 | SQ1
Minibrute | Midi4+
Graphite 49 | EIE
Band: Death By Media
Location: Indiana
Contact:

Re: Wall Wart Management

Post by loungedumore » Sat Nov 06, 2010 11:30 pm

This what I use http://www.amazon.com/American-DJ-PC-10 ... B0002GL50Q
American DJ PC-100A 8 Channel Power Strip as all the outlets are vertical and spaced some .
Also serves as on off switch for my DSI synths too
Some wish to leave their mark ... I want to leave a scar .
http://soundcloud.com/death-by-media

User avatar
StepLogik
Expert Member
Expert Member
Posts: 1492
Joined: Fri Dec 29, 2006 4:16 am
Gear: Gauntlets of Ogre Power, Vorpal Sword, Chain Mail +3, Ring of Invisibility, Staff of the Magi, Boots of Speed
Location: Boston, MA

Re: Wall Wart Management

Post by StepLogik » Mon Nov 08, 2010 12:08 am

Zamise wrote: Gene Hackman had one in Enemy of the State, and he still had to blow his hideout.
:lol:

User avatar
StepLogik
Expert Member
Expert Member
Posts: 1492
Joined: Fri Dec 29, 2006 4:16 am
Gear: Gauntlets of Ogre Power, Vorpal Sword, Chain Mail +3, Ring of Invisibility, Staff of the Magi, Boots of Speed
Location: Boston, MA

Re: Wall Wart Management

Post by StepLogik » Mon Nov 08, 2010 12:14 am

madtheory wrote:A Faraday cage will contain the EM field from the transformers in the wall warts. But it's unlikely that is the major source of noise on the audio lines. With a lot of cabling you probably have a ground loop.

To tidy up the PSUs, something like this would do (sorry, I can't find a US equivalent):


Image

http://www.canford.co.uk/Products/20206 ... MULTIPOWER
Zamise wrote:Gene Hackman had one in Enemy of the State, and he still had to blow his hideout.
Careful there, I've never seen a Hollywood movie that was scientifically accurate...
Interesting box. I noticed that it doesn't offer voltage regulation. I doubt that is a big deal since most wall-warts don't either (they are usually just a transformer and a rectifier) but I think it would be nice to know there is regulation on the rails just in case.

The MPathx SmartRack is a similar device, much more expensive and feature-laden, that offers similar features. Not sure if this product ever made it to market: http://www.mpathx.com/index.php

I would like to get (or build) something like this. Eliminating the 20+ wall-warts crammed around my studio would probably reduce noise, heat, and potentially spare equipment from a shorter life due to poor power quality.

User avatar
garranimal
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 1728
Joined: Mon Sep 27, 2004 8:57 pm
Location: USA
Contact:

Re: Wall Wart Management

Post by garranimal » Mon Nov 08, 2010 3:09 am

Dr. Ferd's Wart Remover. I've got 3 of 'em.

Post Reply